Promotion and Tuning of the Electrochemical Reduction of Hetero- and Homobimetallic Zinc Complexes

18 March 2021, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Compounds containing multiple metals attract significant interest due to the useful redox and reactivity properties of such species. Here, the electrochemical properties of a family of macrocyclic complexes that feature a zinc(II) center paired with a second redox-inactive metal cation in heterobimetallic (Na+, Ca2+, Nd3+, Y3+) motifs or a homobimetallic (Zn2+) motif have been investigated. The new complexes were prepared via a divergent strategy, isolated, and structurally characterized by single-crystal X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis. XRD results show that the structure of the complexes is modulated by the identity of the incorporated secondary metal ions. Cyclic voltammetry data reveal that ligand-centered reduction is promoted in the bimetallic complexes and that the paired metal ions synergistically influence the redox properties of the complexes. Similar to prior work from our group and others, the bimetallic complexes containing stronger Lewis acids undergo more significant reduction potential shifts; contrasting with prior work on complexes containing redox-active metals, however, the zinc(II) complexes studied here display faster electron transfer (as judged by lower reorganization energies, λ) when incorporating di- or tri-valent Lewis acids in contrast to monovalent (and more weakly acidic) sodium. The quantified trends in these data offer insights that help distinguish metal- versus ligand-centered reduction of bimetallic complexes.


molecular electrochemistry
coordination chemistry
Lewis acids

Supplementary materials



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